Author, activist, journalist Masha Gessen speaking at U-M

Gessen comes to Ann Arbor Friday to discuss her new book

By Meredith Bruckner - Community News Producer

Photo: Misha Friedman

ANN ARBOR - The recipient of the University of Michigan's Wallenberg Medal in 2015, Masha Gessen is returning to campus Friday to discuss her new book.

Gessen will be speaking at 1010 Weiser Hall, 500 Church St., from 7-9 p.m.

The event is free and open to the public.



Author Masha Gessen

Titled "Never Remember: Searching for Stalin's Gulags in Putin's Russia," the work is inspired by Raoul Wallenburg's disappearance and traces the path of those who became lost or disappeared in the gulag, the Soviet Union's system of forced-labor camps.

In the book, she documents the stories of orphans whose identities were hidden under Soviet leader Josef Stalin. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, they learned the truth about their families.

In some cases, their parents were executed in the gulag.


A depiction of prisoners in a labor camp (Photo: Misha Friedman)

"The project was not about actually physically finding Wallenberg, but about doing some sort of joint exploration of memory and the search for the dead in Russia," Gessen said in a press release. "To me, the Wallenberg story is the quintessential story about it, and that's why the book begins with it."

The book will be released this spring.

Following the lecture, her other books will be available for purchase at Literati Bookstore.

For more information about the event, click here.

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